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L'Étape Australia 2017 race report

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By mikebike - Posted on 06 December 2017

On December 1st, a group of 14 intrepid NSCC riders headed down to Jindabyne to compete in the second L’Etape Australia event. Forecasts of horrendous weather were no deterrent, even though these forecasts had already caused the cancellation of the Tour of Bright. Concerns about high winds and flooding did, however, force the L’Etape organisers to shorten the course down from the original 157km to 102km – avoiding the final big climb up to Perisher.

Fortunately the horrendous storms did not materialise! Instead we were greeted with constant drizzly rain and balmy 11 degrees on Saturday morning. The roads were still very wet and slippery, though, and Mike Young narrowly avoided serious injury when involved in a crash near Dalgety. Mike is available for lessons on how to slide on wet roads without even ripping your knicks! He managed to complete the race on a loan Dura-Ace bike from the Shimano support team, because his own bike had been so badly damaged. Rumours that Mike planned the crash simply to get an in-race bike upgrade are completely untrue.

Mobius Future Racing’s Jesse Coyle took the overall honours in the men’s classification as the first rider across the line, the fastest rider (2:46:31) and the winner of the Col de Beloka KOM (11min 25sec). Coyle broke away from the leading bunch on the steep 3km climb and soloed to the end, finishing two minutes ahead of a bunch led by teammates Aaron Bicknell, Luke Brame and Daniel Forsythe.

The NSCC team achieved 2nd place in the ‘Mixed Team’ category, with Kate Olgers 4th female to cross the line (3:13:16) and 1st in her age category. Ant Ryan managed a very credible 2:59:59 in 64th position against a strong field of riders.

Chris Froome also braved the rain to ride, and whilst it was a social ride for him, he still put in an effort on the sprint and hill climb sections – coming 3rd in the sprint and 2nd in the KOM. Good to see that the local talent can still outdo the best in the world!

Detailed results are here:

Photos from the ride are here:

Congratulations to all who rode.

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